A Mostly Sleepless Night

It happened again, and had been doing so well. Last night was a pretty rough night for me, I didn’t sleep very well, I was having what I am now going to refer to as Keira withdrawal. My flatmate returned from his visit home yesterday afternoon, which mean Keira had to get put back in the wardrobe. Which in itself is always something that makes me feel a bit shitty, I really do hate having to take off my nice clothes and makeup.

originalAnyway so I couldn’t really sleep last night or get back to sleep after a dream I had. The dream wasn’t even that great, it was basically just me hanging out with a bunch of girls, I was Keira in the dream. I knew the girls I were hanging out with knew I was transgender, even thought they never said anything or cared. In the dream it was me that it bothered because I knew they knew I wasn’t a real girl. Anywho that was the dream and I woke up after it feeling pretty shitty and strangely missing my bra, I missed having my fake breasts on. It feels weird to say, but I just missed having them there, they’re strangely comforting for me. I very nearly got out of bed at one point so I could put them on. Just so I’d be able to sleep in them. I thought it might make me feel better.

This has been the first time in ages I’ve felt like this. I guess it was to be expected after getting to spend the last four days as Keira, I guess it will always be difficult going back to “normal” life.

So, just a short post today detailing my (mostly) sleepless night.

Love K.

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Roaming, Roaming, Roaming, Rawhide… I mean Fundraiser

The “Why” Part of the Story*

When presenting as a male I can be quite introverted**, you know the quiet, shy, and socially awkward type. Which I think comes from not feeling 100% comfortable in my own body. I’m never quite sure what to do with it, how to carry myself. I never know what do with my hands unless they’re in my pockets. I’m also not brilliant at small talk (unless, I’ve a few drinks in me), I’m the type of person who after a few minutes of meeting someone new is staring at them blankly, having no clue what to say next. So you may be asking yourself why did this socially awkward person think it was a good idea to try and become a roaming fundraiser? Well, I happened to be a big believer in jumping in at the deep end or learning by doing, if you will. Simply put, I took the job because I thought it would make me better at people, better at communicating face to face. Yet here’s the thing, it wasn’t the talking to people let me down. That actually went quite well.

I also happened to be incredible bored with my life, I was stuck in a rut and a job I found mind numbingly pointless. Fundraising seeming like a pretty good way to get out of it and you know what? It was.

Oh, and lets not forget the most important reason of all. I wanted to do something good, something meaningful with my life. This may sound a bit arrogant or self indulgent, but I absolutely refuse to live a life of mediocrity. I want to be good at something and want to be recognised as being good at it. I want to change the world. I want to make it a better place.

The “Background” Part of the Story

Before I go any further with this story lets give a bit of background information to the job and lend a bit of context.

  • I was raising for a very well known charity
  • For a very well known illness.
  • I was with a team of three other fundraisers of varying experience.
  • You are only allowed two people on the stand at any one time.
  • The stand is what it sounds like, it has the charity branding on it and you stand at it.
  • Everyone has targets to meet. You have to get so many sign ups in a week.
  • Sign ups meaning agreeing to monthly direct debit.
  • It costs money to keep a team in the field.

The “Meet the Team” Part of the Story***

Everyone I met while fundraising was lost; they were people adrift in life. People who had spent their lives moving from one job or one place to the next for the most of their lives. Two of the guys had been in the army and two had lived in Spain for a while, one had worked in movies and one had started their own IT business. Their lives were spent moving from on place to the other. They all had good reason for wanting to fundraise and they were all good people.

The “How it Went Down” Part of the Story

Good fundraisers know what they are doing, they know how to get you to stop, they know the correct body language and they are masters at playing on your emotion to get you to sign up. If these guys ever decided to use their gifts for evil, we’re all fucked. The way it worked with the team I was with, was that you were on the stand for forty-minute rotations, two at a time as you are only allowed to have two people working the stand at the same time. I actually think this system worked quite well it made your day go pretty quickly. The few days I did fundraise we were stationed at a shopping centre in England, and for that week anyway it turns out it was quite a difficult site to work. Normally after your probation period you are expected to get at least five sign ups a day, as a new start I only had to get three. The first two days I didn’t get any, but was allowed a grace period as the whole team was struggling and the team leader who normally gets between six and seven a day also got zero. However on the evening of the second day the team leader took me aside and said that the big boss had just phoned him and said he was concerned with my numbers, the next day I would have to get the three sign ups or I’d be going home. I didn’t let this get me down, I keep my spirits up and went in to the next day with enthusiasm.

However, it got to 4 o’clock that day and I still hadn’t had any sign ups. So when it was my time to come off the stand I told the team leader that I wouldn’t be going back on. That I knew I wasn’t going to get the sign ups, and time when I’m on the stand is time when someone else someone who could get the sign up isn’t. To his credit he tried to convince me to keep going, until I said to him “you know I’m right, you’re just too polite to say so” and he like “yeah…”  That folks is the story of how I stopped being a fundraiser.

 

The “Why I Wasn’t Good at it” Part of the Story”

I was getting people to stop at the stand, I was chatting with them about all the good work the charity was doing, but when people hear about all the good stuff they don’t want to donate, that why you have to play on their emotions, guilt them it to it. Turns out this was something I could bring myself to do. I didn’t feel comfortable doing it. In fact because I couldn’t, I’m confident I cost the charity sign ups.

The “What I Learnt” Part of the Story

The truth is that fundraising is an incredibly difficult job, but it shouldn’t be. People should be lining up to donate. The charity I was fundraising for actually save lives every single day and work hard to save more. That’s why the majority of people don’t stop and that’s why guilting people into signing up works so well, it’s because you know they’re right. You know you should be helping, that’s why most people ignore fundraisers in the street, not because they don’t care, but because they know that if we stop they are going to tell us all the reason why we should sign up and we will, because they’re right. For some reason the majority of us find it easier to shrug it off, we prefer not to think about it. We prefer to let someone else deal with the problem.

So next time you see those guys standing on the street or in a shopping centre or wherever and they’re raising for a charity you believe in, just stop and listen to what they have to say, and if you don’t think they’re right, don’t sign up, but if you do and you can afford it, well then… Go save a life.

The Where all the “*” Live Part of the Story

*For some reason when writing this I’m imagining it as that scene from Oceans Eleven when George Clooney explains the overly elaborate plan for robbing the casino. So please try and have suitably jazzy heist music playing in your head while reading. Or, if you happen to own suitable jazzy heist music from all those bank robberies you secretly plan then all the better!

**I said as male, because when as Keira I feel more out going and confidant. I can feel parts of my personality change when I get to be her, which is an altogether strange yet nice experience when you let yourself embrace it. It’s like this part of me melts to comfy girly me.

***Turns out I’m keeping with Ocean Eleven motif.

I tried to do Something Good and Wasn’t Very Good at it

Hi guys, I felt like posting something, but nothing really trans related has been happening in my life lately; so this will be a mainly personal post. (Just read that last sentence back, they’re all personal posts, duh) You may or may not remember me writing about how I had taken a job as a roaming fundraiser. Well long story short I wasn’t very good at it and am thus currently unemployed. This sounds worst than it actually is; luckily I have a bit of money in saving, which with carful budgeting should see me through to February. I’m quietly confident that I’ll have found a new job by then, as before I took the fundraising job the offers were coming in thick and fast.

Also on the plus side, taking that fundraising job got me out of a rut, and will force me into new and exciting things. I think it will also be nice to have a bit of time off, as the last several years my life has been either Stressing out cause I’m not doing enough work for Uni or stressing out because I’m wasn’t getting enough hours at my job. So now I just get a bit of me time or more importantly a bit of Keira time. Take for instance this weekend; my flatmate is away home, so I’m home alone (apart from the cat). All I’ve been able to think is that if I still had my old old job (the one before the fundraising one) I’d be working morning this weekend and would have to de-Keira-fy each night, but nope, thanks to what I hope will be a brief stint in unemployment I have like 4 whole days of all Keira and Play Station… bliss.

Oh three random things trans-ish things did happen when I was away.

  1. I’ve started wearing foundation under my eyes to help cover the shadows. I was wearing the foundation when I was in London the day before my training. When I got to my Aunts place I realised that I hadn’t put it on very well and that you could totally see where it met regular skin. It was very noticeable, and I’m pretty certain my aunt did, though she didn’t say anything.
  2. During the training for the fundraising job, another girl who was there misheard me say where I used to work and thought I said Spa, and commented that I had very nice nails. I took it as compliment.
  3. Not that it bothers me at all, but I’m pretty sure the other guys on my team thought I gay, but in the closet. I guess stuff like that can be pretty common for trans people.

Anywho, it’s nice to be back and I look forward to catching up with what has been going on with you guys. I may write another post explaining in more detail what happen when I was fundraising. I’ve just told the story so much the last week that I’m a little bored with it.

Peace K.